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EXCL Ex-Vote Leave boss demands no backsliding on Brexit after hung parliament shock

Emilio Casalicchio

2 min read

A former boss of the official Vote Leave campaign has urged MPs not to backslide on delivering Brexit after last week's shock general election result.

In an exclusive article for PoliticsHome, Gisela Stuart said parliament will have "failed in its basic function as a democratically representative body” if it backs down on the challenge.

The former Labour MP for Birmingham Edgbaston was one of the three most prominent Brexit campaigners during the referendum - alongside Boris Johnson and Michael Gove - and was chair of Vote Leave.

Theresa May’s negotiating hand in Brussels and her authority in the Commons have been severely damaged after she lost her slim majority in the snap election on Thursday.

The Prime Minister has been forced to cobble together a confidence and supply arrangement with the DUP - who also support Brexit - but fears have been raised as to how smooth and comprehensive the process will now be.

Ms Stuart, who spent 20 years in Parliament before stepping down ahead of the election, admitted there would be “a bit of sniggering and condescension” when the negotiations start, but insisted the referendum decision must be delivered.

“However difficult this may seem at the moment, if parliament fails to implement the decision then it will have failed in its basic function as a democratically representative body which reflects the will of the people,” she wrote.

“It will be as simple or as complicated as we chose to make it. Parliament could sit over the summer to pass enabling legislation.

“Much of existing legislation can be taken over and changed as and when the need arises.”

She added: “Those who still have not come to terms with the outcome of the referendum now talk about stopping a chaotic Brexit. This is all sophistry.

“The people have expressed their will to leave the EU and the broad principles are clear. Democracy demands that we implement the referendum decision.

“We are leaving the EU and that is the first task of this elected parliament – hung parliament or minority administration.”

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